There is still one year to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. EU citizens and their families have one year from today until 30 June 2021 to apply for settled status and Europa Welcome is here to help!
Over the last year 872 people accessed our Europa Welcome service at Asylum Welcome. We supported 565 people to apply for settled or pre-settled status. 350 EU citizens who submitted applications with our support received positive decisions from the Home Office.
Our remarkable team of eight volunteers includes four OISC EUSS Level 1 qualified volunteers who were all trained and accredited during the last year and four trained to the OISC EUSS L1 are now waiting to be accredited.
If you would like our help all you need is your passport/ID and evidence of your residence. If you need help to apply, contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be more than happy to help you. To find out more, please visit:Europeans applying to settled status
Late last year a lovely elderly woman who received her settled status with the support of our wonderful Europa Welcome volunteers felt so grateful and pleased that she very generously sent us a donation to thank us for helping her, and as her contribution to support AW helping others. You can read her lovely hand-written note in the image above. It is a lot harder for elderly EEA citizens who might have been living here for a long time never having to worry about their immigration status suddenly finding themselves having to prove their residence to apply to get their status and become legal residents because of Brexit. That is hard for them – and for many of us – to grasp. There is also the issue of difficulty the elderly can have with providing a digital proof of status rather than a residence card. We have found it is disproportionately harder for the elderly to prove their EUSS status online digitally due to age and related health and other problems.
For example, another client had lived in the UK since the 70s, having moved over here when she and her British husband got married. She had become quite worried about Brexit and what it would mean, to the point where she was having sleepless nights and anxiety attacks. When she came to see us we discussed her situation and her rights, and established that she had been given ILR shortly after her arrival here. However, she was still concerned about her situation and so we helped her complete and submit her application. When the screen displayed that she would be considered for Settled Status, she began to cry because she was so relieved. She has since been given her Settled Status.
Another client was in her 80s, and had moved to the UK in the 1950s. She barely used technology and so she would not have been able to complete the process herself (we posted her the Home Office letter as she doesn’t even use email with ease). We explained the process to her, and as she had worked her whole life, there was a good match with HMRC and DWP records. She has since been given her Settled Status, and (as with the client above) commented that it was a weight off her shoulders as she had been worried about her future. She explicitly said that she would not have been able to complete the application without us. She says she is now going to apply for British citizenship.
These cases exemplify just how concerned people are about their rights, and combined with an absence of technological knowledge, are but a couple of important reasons these clients came to us needing help. Cases like this highlight our concerns about the lack of a physical document to prove status, as well as the reliance on technology to complete the process: both of these clients are well-established in the UK, they have spent their entire adult lives here, their grasp of language is perfect, and yet without support, they would not have been able to apply and in theory, would have become illegal from July 2021.
Please help us spread the word and encourage anyone you may know that still has not applied to EU Settled Status to give us a call and find out how we can help.